Unschooling Rules #12: A Great Mentor is Best

From Unschooling Rules by Craig Aldrich:

Internships, apprenticeships and interesting jobs beat term papers, textbooks and tests.

As a parent, I know how challenging it can be to find great mentors for your child.  But especially as they grow, they need the further encouragement to reach out to other adults and find people who can guide them in their quest for knowledge if their interests differ from yours.

Immediately after reading this rule, I met a local drama teacher at the beauty salon (yes, I hate to call it that, but that is what you call the place you get your hair cut.)  With this prompting me, I asked him if he ever needed an accompanist for his musical theater class.  Voila!  An interesting volunteer experience for Eden.  She went 3 days last week to a junior high class to accompany for the musical Legally Blonde, with lots more opportunities coming up!

While I wouldn’t necessarily be happy having Eden in this class, I love being able to participate in the activity on our own terms, and in a way that furthers her interests.

We also paid an exorbitant amount to a mechanic to fix Shandy’s truck last week.  While paying for the repairs, I encouraged Shandy to take the opportunity to ask if they would allow Brett to come help out (for free) and learn.  So, Brett spent two afternoons this week watching and learning in the mechanic shop.  While I don’t know if this will develop into a full-fledged apprenticeship, even the experience of being in the mechanic shop while they are working was beneficial for him.

My next search . . . an artist mentor for Lucy.  Art lessons are not affordable for us right now, but it would be wonderful if she had an adult to help her learn how to use her supplies in the best way possible.

Of course, our kids are mentored by their music teachers, and this is an excellent influence in their lives.  And the best influences of all are their extended families, who help and guide them with love.

Keeping this unschooling exhortation in mind will hopefully make me look for more opportunities for the kids, and be brave enough to ask for them.  Just one more reason I am glad I read this book.  By the way, it was $2.99 on Kindle today.  Have you checked on reading it?

How have you arranged for new mentors for your kids?  Who are your child’s best mentors?  Please leave me a comment!

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